It’s Advent Season!!!
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Are you and your family observing Advent from now until Christmas? I grew up in a home where God and Jesus were very much a part of our lives, but Advent wasn’t something we participated in. Not because it was wrong… but because we weren’t aware of it. Some church denominations focus greatly on Advent and others don’t. Mine didn’t back then. However, as my daily life has been blessed by friendships from various denominational backgrounds, so has my walk with Jesus. One thing I’ve picked up from these friends is the observance of Advent.
The word “Advent” simply means “coming” or “arrival.” As we prepare for Christmas – in the house cleaning, decorating, cooking, shopping and gift wrapping, Advent observances help us prepare for the coming of CHRISTmas. Although Advent is observed in various ways, and on various days, the main point of Advent is the intentional daily setting of our hearts and minds on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Jesus came to earth the first time as a baby born in a manger. We joyfully celebrate His birth each Christmas season. But Jesus didn’t stay a baby. He grew up to become a Man – a Man who gave His life for ours and paid the death penalty for the sins you and I commit. Death could not hold Him, and He became the Victor over sin and death: the Giver of new life He provided for us. At Christmas time, we celebrate the advent of Jesus’ coming to earth as a Man.
But that’s not all we should celebrate. These celebrations of Jesus’ gifts to us while on earth ought to cause us to anticipate His next advent as well, because soon, He will come again. Except this next time, He won’t come as a baby in a manger. He’ll come as a Judge and The Triumphant KING of all kings and LORD of all lords (Rev. 19:11 & 16)!
In many churches, Advent begins the fourth Sunday before Christmas. In our household, the celebration of Advent often begins the Monday after Thanksgiving or on December 1st. From that point on, as our household’s “tone-setter,” I seek to offer something extra for the family to help them keep their focus on Jesus during the upcoming fun and festive days.